Hong Kong Box Office Rises by 6% in 2018

Theatrical box office in Hong Kong grew by nearly 6% in 2018. Gross takings hit HK$1.96 billion, compared with HK$1.85 billion in 2017, according to data from Hong Kong Box Office Ltd.

As the Hong Kong dollar is closely pegged to its American counterpart, most of that gain can be translated into U.S. dollar gains. Using year-end exchange rates, Hong Kong’s theatrical business was worth $250 million in 2018, compared with $237 million in 2017.

Foreign-made films continued to enjoy the largest share of the Hong Kong theatrical business. In 2018, the top eight places were occupied by Hollywood franchise movies, though, unusually, two Korean titles – “Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds” and its sequel, “The Last 49 Days” – took ninth and 10 places, with $6.96 million (HK$54.4 million) and $6.17 million (HK$48.2 million), respectively.

Avengers: Infinity War” was far and away the year’s highest-scoring film in Hong Kong, with $19.6 million (HK$153 million), ahead of “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” which achieved $11.3 million (HK$88.6 million) and “Incredibles 2” with $9.11 million (HK$71.2 million).

The data provider said that market share for Hong Kong-produced films declined fractionally from 14% to 13%. The top-ranking local film was comedy “Agent Mr. Chan,” which finished just outside the top 10 with $5.71 million (HK$44.7 million). Though most Hong Kong films these days are co-productions with mainland Chinese partners, significant differences in audience tastes persist. Hong Kong-originated pictures including “Project Gutenberg,” “Monster Hunt 2,” and “Monkey King 3” did well in China, whereas mainland-originated movies had minimal attraction for Hong Kong cinema-goers. Last year’s top film in China, the stirringly patriotic “Operation Red Sea,” made by Hong Kong director Dante Lam, earned just $1.11 million (HK$8.72 million) as the 10th-ranked Hong Kong film. In mainland China, it earned $576 million.

An unchanged number of 53 Hong Kong films reached local screens in 2018. The number of international titles released in Hong Kong increased from 278 in 2017 to 300 in 2018.

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